What is the single most valuable -- or important -- piece of advice you received from:
1. a writer
2. a bookseller
3. a reader
4. a reviewer
5. an editor
6. an agent

when you first started your journey as a
1. writer
2. published writer?

I can't wait to read these!

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I'd have nothing to cut. My first draft IS my second and my third and my fourth. I write like a movie director who doesn't bother with coverage and shoots only the angles he needs.
No question about this one: Write every day.
Yes. I think this one is critical.

Oh, wait. You meant writing advice?

A couple of things.

A writing teacher at UCLA taught me a lot about tight writing. If you don't need a word/paragraph/scene, ditch it. Really changed the way I look at it.

Another was from a friend who told me every scene must have a conflict. The scene begins when the conflict starts and it ends when there's some sort of resolution to it. Really helped a lot.
Wow. I'm learning so much with this topic. Thank you.
Make it shorter.

Lotsa folks have told me that, and they were all right.
Every one of your points is valuable. Thanks for taking the time to respond.
Holy cow. What great advice. I think I'm just going to roll around in everyone's perspectives for awhile. This is amazing.

Thank you, Anita.
"a) from the first published writer I met, I learned: "write what you know"... which you hear everywhere but in retrospect, only seems to come from people who *teach* writing, instead of making it to the top themselves"

Funny you should mention that--

I took a creative writing course under a published author who told me 'write what you know', with the idea of writing things from my own life. I told him, "I can't write about myself," and he said, "I can't either." (And, oddly, he almost sounded relieved that I'd said that.) So while they give that advice, they don't necessarily believe in it themselves.
As a writer-- from another writer--edit and shorten it by cutting the unnecessary. By a reader- nothing but good remarks.

My personal, write freely then edit to cut the fat, then pick up again back on track.
I find it really tough to turn off that initial editor. Your advice is another good reminder that editing later works better.


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